05/23/14 10:15am

The best way to end an evening early is to forget to eat along with your drinks, and you don’t have to depend on stale pretzels or free popcorn alone to fuel your fun at these spots, which have drinks and great food.

Montana's Trail House is opening in Bushwick on May 30. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Montana’s Trail House is opening in Bushwick on May 30. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Montana’s Trail House (Bushwick, 445 Troutman Street, opening May 30) Located in an old service station at Five Points in Bushwick, Montana’s Trail House has the cozy vibe of an upstate cabin, a bench-lined patio in the front for taking your cocktail out into the sunshine, and a menu that includes fried chicken, root beer-braised brisket and a tongue and cheek reuben. Don’t despair, vegetarians, the spring harvest plate and a few other options are far superior to your usual token pasta dish. It’s the kind of place you’ll want to hunker down in, sipping whiskey and chatting up your neighbor come next winter, but not before a long summer of blueberry basil Pimm’s cups on the patio. Oh, and their late night menu, which goes until 3am, includes a corn dog that replaces the usual hot dog with a sausage. –Annaliese Griffin (more…)

10/03/13 4:00pm
Photo: Union Pool

Photo: Union Pool

Venue: Union Pool, Williamsburg
Theme: “Rock and roll” and “good music”
The sound: Anything from Kendrick Lamar to punk rock
A place to get down? Too cool
Extras: Very cool

Union Pool is not a secret. Everyone who is cool and living in Brooklyn (and also probably not living in Brooklyn) seems to go to this bar/patio/taco truck like all the time. At least that is my assessment after dropping by this bar/patio/taco truck-venue a few times to check out their DJ situation. A former pool cleaning supplies store just off the L’s Lorimer stop, it features a spacious bar with comfy black booths, turntables and a solid selection of cheap beers–I counted three.

In the back is a patio equipped with picnic tables, a psychedelic back wall and a mossy pond. Outside and above is also the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, reminding us that we are still in urban landscape, lest we forget. Also, as I mentioned, there is a taco truck. But you probably already know all this. As I said, it is not exactly a speakeasy.

08/26/13 12:00pm
Sat August 31, 2013
Union Pool's Summer Thunder concert series is going out with a bang this Saturday with performances by Thurston Moore and Daniel Higgs. Photo: Union Pool

Union Pool’s Summer Thunder concert series is going out with a bang this Saturday with performances by Thurston Moore and Daniel Higgs. Photo: Watkins Little/Union Pool

Put on your floaties and stake out your spot early ’cause Union Pool will undoubtedly be packed to capacity this Saturday. Continuing its Summer Thunder series of free, daytime shows in the backyard along with the El Diablo Taco truck and the outdoor bar (which has stellar frozen margaritas), this Saturday features Sonic Youth founder/Chelsea Light Moving frontman and experimental guitar genius Thurston Moore, most likely performing a loud noise set, and the unclassifiable Daniel Higgs, who fronts the Dischord band Lungfish, doing his own set of surprises. Keep your eyes peeled for booze specials and ears wide open for before and after sets from DJ Jesper Eklow (Endless Boogie).

08/07/13 10:00am

This isn’t a big week for shows, but I’m thrilled with this list because most of them are totally, completely, 100% free. If you splurged on a Beyoncé ticket last week, or haven’t gotten you money back yet from D’Angelo’s cancelled show, this week should be kind to your wallet, and, if the weather holds out, your tan.

Wednesday, Aug. 7
Tickets $15
Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave.)

Calling New Orleans jazz-funk band Galactic energetic is like saying Quentin Tarantino films are a tad violent. The band has been performing in Louisiana’s party capital since 1996, and its tunes are as bright and lively as a Mardi Gras float, with sizzling vocals, thunderous drum lines and a rumbling brass section. Its latest album, 2012′s Carnivale Electricos is full of tightly-packed sonic jewels and world-beat infusions, and pays tuneful homage to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festivals and the epic carnivals in Brazil and Trinidad, where one day isn’t a lengthy enough celebration. The same can be said about Galactic’s stint at Brooklyn Bowl: the band begins its four-day stay at the venue this Wednesday, Aug. 7. Grab tickets for Wednesday’s show while you can, because the four-day passes are sold out, and the remaining shows offer limited entry at the door.